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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 Days Ago  
The Six-Megapixel Club
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 883
Views: 73,860
Made that mistake back in the '70's when touring on an old motorbike. Fortunately, apart from the inherent lack of performance from a 1942 Harley, the 6 volt headlight meant I couldn't see very far anyway, so we weren't going fast. Came around a bend heading back towards Ashburton after dark and a group of animals were bedded down on the tarmac! Avoided everything, without too much squealing of rubber, and got a filthy look from a couple of the ponies ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 Days Ago  
The Six-Megapixel Club
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 883
Views: 73,860
Not crazy, just a little more enthusiastic than me ... I only have a *istD S and a *istD L2 similarly configured, my "K" cameras are mostly full-time bayonet-mount, though I do use manual focus lenses with them :)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 Days Ago  
Autofocus sensitivity/accuracy question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 18
Views: 839
No contest there ... all of my image viewing these days is on a computer screen or TV and a lot of my pictures are 100% cropped for final viewing anyway. I'll agree that some of the older converters, that are manual focus and even manual exposure, can be more of a liability than an enhancement, but my experiences with the matching Sigma EX converter on my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, purchased new when I bought my original *ist film camera, has always been very satisfactory!

A Sandpiper or similar at 100 yards is not a big subject, so the more pixels I can get covered by subject matter the better :)

I'm not shooting for National Geographic or even a local contest, I just want to be able to demonstrate a recognisable image and maybe show the differences between two similar species that were present on a particular day or take a record of something unusual or rare.

Recognising the limitations and requirements of my equipment will help me achieve this a little more regularly :)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
The Six-Megapixel Club
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 883
Views: 73,860
The very reason I bought a *istD L2 when the opportunity arose, so's I didn't have to keep fitting and dismounting the M42-PK adaptor in my *istD S ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
Autofocus sensitivity/accuracy question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 18
Views: 839
Thanks again :)


I must re-iterate at this point that I'm not dissatisfied with the Sigma 150-500mm lens optical performance at any focal length, especially now I've used the "AF Fine Adjustment" option on my K-70 to advantage. I can read the ID numbers on birds leg-rings at 100+ yards if there's not too much heat-haze, which is plenty good enough for me ;)


The only problem I perceived was an occasional "reluctance" to autofocus accurately ... I think we've confirmed my suspicions that I need an extra half-stop or better to help that circumstance, so whilst waiting to win the lottery I'll be carrying my 70-200mm f/2.8 + matching 2x, which may become my "default" lens, fitting the 150-500mm when I need the extra reach for a stationary subject. :)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
Autofocus sensitivity/accuracy question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 18
Views: 839
Thanks ... unfortunately 400mm f/2.8's are thin on the ground in Pentax AF mount, new or second-hand, so I'll struggle on with what I have or can find at an affordable price.
I'm not dissatisfied with the Sigma, far from it, especially at the s/h price I paid for it ... just trying to get maximum "bang for my bucks" ;)


Thanks for the input :)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 Days Ago  
Autofocus sensitivity/accuracy question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 18
Views: 839
Oh yes, the AF on my K-70 will handle a 2x converter on the Sigma 150-500mm in good light on a contrasty subject, so that's effectively f/12.6, but it'll take it's time to lock on. With a 1.5x converter it'll work most of the time at effectively f/9+ if it's a stationary subject in good light, but I'm trying to establish what parameters are necessary for totally reliable operation in most circumstances and it would seem, as you point out, that f/5.6 is needed, especially for a moving subject!
So I'm scouring the second-hand listings and saving the pennies, even the cat has got to catch her own supper (just kidding ;)


Thanks for the detail :)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-12-2019, 10:28 AM  
Autofocus sensitivity/accuracy question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 18
Views: 839
OK, I think I understand this ... in layman's terms, anything slower than f/5.6 is non-optimal? If that's the case, it supports my suspicions and I need to think about "upgrading" ... or getting closer, somehow ;)


Thank you :)

---------- Post added 08-12-19 at 10:39 AM ----------





Thanks for the response. I'm aware of the depth-of-field limitations, hence my (arbitrary) use of f/8, primarily to improve the depth of field rather than for overall sharpness, which I'm not dissatisfied with. I do "open up" in low light to reduce grain/noise and will use slower shutter speeds when conditions allow.


My K-70 may be "handicapped", but it was all I could afford at the time and is a serious upgrade in capability for this kind of photography from my K-5, which still does an excellent job when I can get sufficient subject matter in the viewfinder. I'm just trying to maximise my success rate ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-12-2019, 01:34 AM  
Autofocus sensitivity/accuracy question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 18
Views: 839
Most of my photography these days is wild birds, often from a public hide and inevitably often in flight. I achieve a reasonable degree of success, certainly for my purposes, but I'd like to reduce my failure rate, which are mostly "missed focus" of moving subjects.

I know my "birding" equipment (K-70 + Sigma 150-500mm f/6.3) is capable, when conditions are "right", but a few comparison tests recently suggest that a 400mm f/5.6 (actually a 70-200mm f/2.8 + 2x) might give a better "lock-on" rate on a moving subject. I should probably mention at this point that my "default" exposure is 1/1500 @ f/8 in TAv mode, which is chosen to cope with an amount of subject movement and give a degree of depth-of-field. My "default" autofocus mode is AF-S in spot mode. For in-flight shots, if there's time to make a choice, I try to use continuous autofocus, single point for a more distant subject and multi-point if the subject is reasonably close and against a plain sky. I have these options set up on the User modes so can switch from one to the other reasonably promptly ;)

So, does half a stop really make that much difference to the autofocus accuracy and response, in which case I'll be considering saving (hard) for a faster lens and hope to get lucky second-hand, or is it simply that the smaller image in the viewfinder allows for better tracking on my part? Inevitably, no two "action" shots are exactly the same and the ergonomics of the shorter lens may play a part in all this.


I'll look forward to all the insights and experiences I'm sure I'll receive, the responses on this board have always been interesting and educational :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-10-2019, 09:47 AM  
Pinhole zoom lens
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 8
Views: 489
My existing pinhole is mounted in a body-cap ... if I want it a bit longer focus I use extension tubes, if I want it a lot longer focus I fit it to my bellows ... 200mm telephoto pinhole !?!


YMMV ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-10-2019, 01:39 AM  
Copying to computer - pop the card or USB?
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 48
Views: 1,428
I've also always removed the card from my cameras, my principle being that the contacts on the card and in it's socket are bigger than those in a small USB socket, so less likely to wear in the long term.


There's also the consideration that if a camera has a "displacement incident", ie dropped!, with a cable connected, there's the risk of the USB socket and even the "internals" of the camera being irrepairably damaged. I was in the equipment repair business for most of my working life, so have seen many instances of similar damage to portable equipment.


YMMV ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-08-2019, 11:45 PM  
Top LCD Panel
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 13
Views: 644
I "upgraded" from a K-5 to a K-70 and initially struggled with the lack of top LCD panel, having been used to the feature since the days of my *istDS (and before, if you equate the feature to the dials on a mechanical camera), but after a year of regular use and "enforced" familiarisation with the configurable rear information panel I'll admit to "being converted" ... aging eyesight and the large characters on the illuminated info screen may have been an influencing factor ;)

It is a learning curve and with the K-70 (and presumably other models) being so extensively configurable it does take time to decide which features one needs on the "control panel" display and, indeed, which order to have them in! Configuring the "User Modes" to personal preferences is another aspect of the configuration which can take some consideration, but with my three favourite configurations pre-programmed to U1, U2 and U3 it's a flick of a dial to invoke them with little or no other thinking!

At the end of the day it's little more than tilting the camera forward slightly (if the screen is in the retracted position) and touching the info button to be presented with all the relative settings, hardly more effort than tilting the body backward slightly to read the aperture ring on a manual lens :)


YMMV :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-07-2019, 04:28 AM  
K-mount adapter for Canon lenses
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 5
Views: 326
Probably not. Canon cameras have a shorter back-focus distance than Pentax K-mount cameras, so any adaptor would involve at least some custom optics at the very least if you wanted to retain infinity focus, not withstanding aperture control etc. If you have access to a reasonably priced tilt-shift lens you may be best served finding a similarly well-priced Canon body to use it on ;)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-07-2019, 04:06 AM  
About my Tamron 28-200 lens
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 17
Views: 537
Herewith the Tamron Adaptall-2 #171A 28-200mm lens attached to my K-70 (and photographed with my *ist DL2)
Hope this helps :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-07-2019, 03:44 AM  
How would you price these?
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 14
Views: 599
As you say, prices do seem to vary considerably! One definite, if your Kenko teleconverter is the one with all seven electrical contacts, the autofocus coupling and the power contacts, the "Pz-AF", it's quite rare and desirable and worth considerably more than the 5-10 or so the no-contact or 6-contact versions usually seem to change hands for ... mine works very well with an f/4 or wider lens attached!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-07-2019, 12:33 AM  
Russian Lenses
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 11
Views: 715
Don't give up on old Russian glass! Most of it is optically very good and can give excellent results if used within it's limitations of "everything manual". It seems like the OP had a poor experience with a bad eBay seller, unfortunate, but claim your money back and find another, you won't regret finding a good one!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-07-2019, 12:11 AM  
About my Tamron 28-200 lens
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 17
Views: 537
Not quite! The 171A was Adaptall-2 as well. I've still got my fungus-ridden example and approached Tamron UK about getting it cleaned a few years ago when it finally got too bad to use, but it was "a service they can no longer supply!". They were also "unable" to provide strip-down instructions, which was a bit of a *bleep*, but probably understandable!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-06-2019, 10:03 AM  
Taking a step further - new lenses or upgrade body (K-x)?
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 38
Views: 1,373
The K-x is a 12 megapixel camera ... there's a lot of good photographs still being taken with 6 megapixel cameras, so from that perspective the K-x is still a perfectly good camera, however, what you need to define is where does the K-x fail you, if it does.


The latest generation of APS-C cameras have mind-boggling low-light capability and the "cropability" (aka digital zoom) is spectacular, however these characteristics are of little significance if you usually "fill your viewfinder" with well-lit subject matter.


As for a wider range of lenses, what can't you photograph with the lenses you've already got?. If you regularly "can't fit everything in" then an ultra-wide might make sense. For extreme close-up or longer telephoto the higher resolution of a 24 megapixel body may give you sufficient "digital zoom" so's to not need extra lenses.


I can't comment on "astro" photography, my minimal efforts so far have been mediocre at best, but the GPS module that would fit on my K-70 does seem an attractive concept ... I really need to spend more time out in the countryside after dark to define whether I really need it ;)


Good luck :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-05-2019, 02:47 PM  
About my Tamron 28-200 lens
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 17
Views: 537
I wonder how well related these "modern" fixed-mount lenses are to the Adaptall-2 originals. I had one of the #71A's when they were new (mid to late '80's, at a guess) and replaced it with a #171A when they became available. The first was a vari-focal design, in that the focus changed as the lens was zoomed, and it only had a minimum focus of about 6ft, as I remember. The later lens was (is) far more user-friendly, which stayed in focus as you zoomed and with a minimum focus of 3ft. The first had a rotating front element, so the lens hood was fairly minimal, but the later had a "petal" hood which was far more efficient. My example unfortunately developed haze/fungus deep in the internals and was retired only a couple of years ago :(
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-03-2019, 11:54 PM  
Upgrading-- Getting back into the scene
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 15
Views: 960
I "upgraded" from a K-5 to a K-70 ... the image quality, especially from a low-light and "cropability" perspective, was a revelation, but the more "compact" ergonomics of the newer body took some getting used to, especially when fitted with a long lens. I suspect the slightly larger/heavier KP would have been easier to physically adapt to, but I'd need to test-drive one to convince myself that the price difference was worth it!


Just my tuppence-worth, YMMV ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-02-2019, 01:55 AM  
"Catch in Focus" question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 11
Views: 876
With a manual-focus lens "back-focus" is not a problem, which can be the attraction of using it.


Envisage a butterfly (or pair of butterflies, to get optimistic) flitting about in a flowery glade lit by dappled sunlight. An autofocus nightmare, at least in my experience. However, fit a manual-focus lens, set it to the sort of range to give an appropriate image size of your subject in the viewfinder, then effectively wave it all about with the shutter button pressed (or park it on a tripod with the cable release locked down). When something flies into the pre-chosen range the shutter will fire :) Assuming the various other parameters such as depth-of-field, subject movement speed, sensitivity etc. have all been considered, something like an acceptable photograph may well be the result :)


With multiple focus points available to trigger the shutter, the need for having the subject absolutely dead-centre to trigger the shutter is eliminated!


No, I've not had a lot of success yet, but my incidence of "near misses" is a lot higher than it used to be, so I'm hopeful practice and a more suitable lens will improve things ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-01-2019, 02:03 PM  
"Catch in Focus" question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 11
Views: 876
Excellent :) Thank you for exactly what I was looking for (but had been unable to find)!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-01-2019, 08:03 AM  
"Catch in Focus" question
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 11
Views: 876
I use "catch in focus" quite frequently and successfully with many of my manual focus lenses, but occasionally I find the limitation of having only the central focus-point active to be a nuisance.


However, I've found, by accident, that a couple of my Sigma zooms, that have an AF/MF switch, will allow the camera to perform "catch-in-focus" when the lens is set to "MF" and use multiple focus points. The lenses in question are the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 150-500mm f/5.6-f/6.3. Unfortunately neither of these is capable of close focus, 6ft and 7.5ft respectively.


I can envisage that "multiple-point catch in focus" could be advantageous in some circumstances, so my question is twofold :
a) does anyone else use this capability?
b) which lenses, ideally not quite as bulky as my two Sigmas and preferably with a degree of close-up if not macro capability, have an AF/MF switch?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-25-2019, 02:50 PM  
Questions about the k70
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 29
Views: 1,224
If there is anyone out there who would be influenced by a sample size of two, my K-70 is working faultlessly after nearly eleven months and over 15,000 clicks. ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-23-2019, 10:51 PM  
Green button on the K30
Posted By kypfer
Replies: 5
Views: 655
I know this may sound obvious, but one's got to ask, when you say "manual mode" you do mean the "M" setting on the dial on the top of the camera, not the autofocus/manual-focus switch?


Could almost be as if the Green Button isn't working ... is it possible to allocate a different function to it on your camera?


I'm just a little bit baffled as I use "Green Button" mode with a lot of old lenses on several of my bodies with no problem :(
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